Plenary Speakers

Provost Lecture
The Biophysics of Protein-Ligand Binding:
What Is the Water Doing?

4:00 p.m., Thursday, 6 October

George M. Whitesides, PhD
Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor
Harvard University

To call George M. Whitesides, PhD, a chemist simplifies a body of work that is among the most influential in science in the past 50 years. The Harvard professor is known for his contributions to many fields, including nanotechnology, microfabrication, and microfluidics.

Whitesides has authored more than 1,100 publications, been listed as an inventor on more than 100 patents, and cofounded more than 12 companies, including Genzyme. He currently enjoys the highest ranking of all living chemists in the Hirsch index, a measurement of research distinction.

He has mentored more than 300 graduate students, postdocs, and visiting scholars. Whitesides’ Harvard research lab includes nearly 50 students, postdoctoral fellows, and research associates. Among its varied projects are studies involving bioanalysis, self-assembled systems, molecular electronics, science for developing economies, and—as basic as basic science gets—the chemical origins of life.

He has served on advisory committees for the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the National Research Council, including the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, which he has chaired since 2005.

Among Whitesides’ many honors are the National Medal of Science, the Priestley Medal, and the Benjamin Franklin Medal. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He serves on editorial boards for a number of journals, including Nanotechnology, Small, Chemistry and Engineering News, and Lab on a Chip. Whitesides received an AB from Harvard and a PhD from the California Institute of Technology.